Have you ever wondered what the Jonas Brothers do when they’re not on tour? Or what the plot of a “Glee” movie might be? Quinton and Ian Williams, the two brothers behind Pixies Production Inc., are constantly pondering these ideas when they think of the next celebrity or TV show to parody. With more than 5 million upload views, these videos are more than silly jokes, but hard work. Especially since Quinton and Ian do all of the characters, writing, props, costumes, editing and camera work themselves.
As kids, Quinton and Ian spent their spare time making “Star Wars” remakes and filming pranks they pulled on friends. Since 2006, they started taking their hobby more seriously and uploaded their student work and extracurricular videos on YouTube. Before they knew it, views sky-rocketed and fans came pouring in from around the world. Now that they have found their niche in parodies and started making revenue on advertisements, they are ready to look for representation and turn their comedy over to television and movies.
Pixies Productions Inc. has covered the basics, Jonas Brothers, “Drake and Josh” and even the X-Men character, Wolverine. Right now you can check out their new skit, “Glee: The Movie.”
ME: What made you two want to make videos?
Ian: It started out of boredom really. At first, we just filmed to document things.
Quinton: Yeah, like me throwing a pumpkin off the roof. We were so into movies we thought it would be fun to create our own.
ME: What don’t you like about the filming process?
Ian: The time it takes.
Quinton: Arguing [both laugh].
ME: What’s your favorite part of the filming process?
Quinton: Creating the character and changing into a different person.
Ian: Building the scene then altering it when it doesn’t work.
ME: What was a discouraging moment for Pixies Production Inc?
Quinton: We were asked by an MTVU marketing manager to enter a contest in which you submit a pitch for a TV show. After weeks of editing and re-editing and pouring our hearts out we never got a call back.
ME: What has that moment taught you?
Quinton: To pick yourself back up. Give up or keep going.
Ian: It taught us to stick to our guns.
Quinton: Making videos and trying to work in entertainment means having faith. Videos cost a lot of money. I spent $3000 dollars on my camera and another $1000 on my computer in 2005. Our latest skit has cost us $550 so far. We’re constantly taking chances.
ME: Quinton, you graduated from the University of West Florida Magna Cum Laude and Ian, you will graduate later in April, but you’ve managed to maintain an above average GPA. How did you make time for school and videos?
Quinton: We tried to incorporate school work with our YouTube videos. We were both taking film classes so we made projects with the intent of putting them online.
ME: What is your advice to students entering college wanting to major in film?
Ian: Know what it is you want out of college and find a school that offers that.
Quinton: Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Be a leader, not a follower. Focus on schoolwork it should be the number one priority. I studied for my Java class hours on end. And because of that, I was able to build my own Web site.
ME: Back to your videos, how has YouTube launched your talent?
Ian: We not only gained popularity, but an international audience. We would never be able to do that anywhere else but YouTube.
Quinton: We now have an online resume and revenue to fund our videos.
ME: You do parodies of existing characters, but they’re still different thanks to the Pixies Production Inc. touch. Where do the ideas for these characters come from?
Ian: My beautiful brain. [Laughs] We imagine ourselves in the character.
Quinton: We have gut feelings and inside jokes about the people we parody.
ME: Which characters have you had the most fun with?
Quinton: Joe Jonas and Count Chocula.
Ian: Any character that is annoying and screams really loud.
ME: Who are some celebrities you would never want to parody?
Ian: Snickers…I mean Snooki. Any woman really, I never do them justice.
Quinton: Bob Villa and the Target dog.
ME: How do you create the plots for your skit?
Quinton: We have two different methods. One, we build a script off of a few one-liners and work backwards. Two, we have an idea and build one-liners off that. Multiple times we don’t even follow the script.
ME: What is your advice to fellow YouTubers who would like to make their own videos?
Quinton: Put videos into a story, have a point. Find your narrative voice.
ME: What or who have been your biggest influences?
Ian: The vibe of the 1990s, “Star Wars,” Ramen Noodles. (Turns to Quinton) I saw you make videos and it made me want to make them too.
Quinton: “Star Wars” always was and always will be an influence. Charlie Chaplin and Jim Carrey are others. I always wanted to be like Jim Carrey.
ME: What do you hope your audience learns from your videos? What do you want to say to them?
Ian: You can create something with a limited budget. Find something you’re good at.
Quinton: We want to inspire them to make their own videos. It’s fun to see the things our fans make.